American Hippotherapy Association -Background on Research
Note. Definitions from Foundations of Clinical Research: Applications to Practice, 3rd ed. Portney & Watkins 2009.
It is critical for occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech language pathology professionals who use hippotherapy as a treatment tool/strategy to base their treatment planning on evidence-based practice. Evidenced-based practice is “the integration of best research evidence (when available) with clinical expertise and patient values” (Sackett et al., 1996, p.312).
The evidence for incorporating hippotherapy into occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech language pathology treatment continues to evolve nationally and internationally representing a diverse range of theoretical perspectives, therapeutic techniques, and outcome measures.
Types of Research
Experimental research: refers to investigations where the researcher manipulates and controls one or more variables and observes the resultant variation in other variables; this type of research provides a basis for comparing two or more conditions for the purpose of determining cause and effect relationships.
Randomized controlled trial (RCT) design: this design involved the controlled comparison of an experimental intervention and a placebo.
Single-subject design: this design involves the systematic study of one or several individuals within the clinical environment; this design also examines cause of outcomes.
Nonexperimental research: refers to investigations that are generally more descriptive or exploratory in nature and that do not exhibit direct control over the studied variables.
Observational design: phenomenon under investigation is observed rather than manipulated.
Cohort and Case-control designs: examine associations to describe and predict risks for certain conditions.
Correlation methods: explore relationships to generate predictions that these relationships suggest.
Descriptive research: refers to a description of a group of individuals on a set of variables, to document their characteristics.
Developmental research: refers to investigations that focus on patterns of growth and change over time with selected segments of a population, or it may chronical the natural history of a disease or disability.
Case study or Case series designs: type of qualitative research that may consist of a description of one or several patients, to document unusual conditions of the effect of intervention.
Note. A Model of Research Process from Foundations of Clinical Research: Applications to Practice, 3rd ed. Portney & Watkins 2009.